'Worry’ as plans to roll back hated Brexit deal could be threatened by Tory rebels


According to the report, Government sources think some of the 148 MPs who opposed the PM in this week’s confidence vote might oppose controversial legislation to change the protocol. Boris Johnson is meeting ministers on Tuesday night to thrash out key parts of the legislation due to be published next week, giving the Government powers to scrap sections of the Brexit deal involving Northern Ireland.

This is expected to trigger a massive fight with the European Union.

A Government source told Sky News that there are now fears there could be a significant Tory rebellion against the legislation to change the protocol amongst the 148 who voted no confidence in Mr Johnson.

They said that rebels might suddenly become “purists” and object, causing problems for the passage of legislation.

The source said: “This is a worry.”

However, Tory rebels against the PM insist that presenting them as opponents of Brexit is wrong and the Government attempts to present the rebellion as a threat to Brexit is a deliberate mischaracterisation to undermine their efforts in the party.

Ministers already believe they might have to use the Parliament Act to get the legislation through if the Lords throws out the bill.

This approach would be likely to be regarded as a significant rupture with the EU over the deal which Mr Johnson negotiated in 2019 and could ultimately result in the EU reimposing tariffs.

Last month, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would bring forward a new law to Westminster which would change the post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland.

READ MORE: Boris SAVED: Desperate bid to oust PM in no confidence vote fails

The trade deal – the NI Protocol – governs how goods enter Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and was agreed by the UK Government and the European Union following the Brexit vote in 2019.

Mr Johnson won a vote of confidence by his own MPs with a 211 majority to 148 on Monday.

Addressing concerns over the effect that Conservative infighting could have on the protocol bill, MP Sammy Wilson said: “We know that there are a number of people in the Conservative Party who were opposed to any change in the protocol anyway, and they talked about you know, breaking international law, though I think that issue has been addressed.

“But there’s always a danger that for those who are dissatisfied with the result last night that they will try to keep poking Boris Johnson in the eye.

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“One of the ways in which they may try to do that is by refusing to support the bill when it comes to the House of Commons.

“I hope that they’re not as childish as that and as short-sighted as that.”


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